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Today: Jun 12, 2024
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All Blacks potential captain criticizes groundbreaking technology as excessive.

1 min read

TLDR:

  • Smart mouthguards with Bluetooth technology causing controversy in Super Rugby
  • All Blacks star Scott Barrett criticizes the new technology as a “step too far”

During the opening round of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season, new smart mouthguards equipped with Bluetooth technology have sparked controversy. These mouthguards are designed to improve player welfare by transmitting data to matchday doctors on the sidelines to indicate which players may require a head injury assessment, even without direct contact to the head area. World Rugby mandated these mouthguards for all top-level competitions starting January 1, and they were in use in Super Rugby for the first time during the Chiefs’ game against the Crusaders.

In the match, Chiefs’ center Anton Lienert-Brown and Crusaders’ lock Quinten Strange were both unexpectedly taken off for head injury assessments. Scott Barrett, the Crusaders’ captain and potential All Blacks skipper, expressed his frustration with the new technology, calling it a “step too far.” He mentioned that while player welfare is important, being taken off the field without knowing why can be frustrating for players. However, coaches like Rob Penney of the Crusaders and Clayton McMillan of the Chiefs emphasized the importance of player welfare and adapting to the new technology for player protection.